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Preparing for Cultural Change

Y Soft Corporation
Y Soft co-founder and CIO
This is the third of a 4-part series on the impact of Digital Transformation in the workplace.

Core values

A shared set of beliefs, values, and group behaviors of an organizational culture can give you a sense of purpose. This purpose helps customers, employees, and organizations to be truly connected. However, culture can be a significant barrier in digital transformation as it impacts the pace, effectiveness and adoption of new processes. Likewise, technology can be highly beneficial, but it is useless without the education and empowerment of your employees.

Culture shock

Digital transformation is a disruptive process and changes may be unsettling for employees, leading to anxiety and resistance. How an organization addresses concerns around upskilling, new roles, and machine collaboration will shape the success an organization’s digital initiatives. Fostering a culture which is progressive and agile may be a shock to some employees, but such a culture can deliver benefits to the whole organization.
Adopting a digital culture to break down silos and centralize the customer is critical to becoming digitally minded. An organization needs informed and adaptable employees, immersed in a culture which is agile and encourages calculated risks.

Take positive action

Creating and caring for a digital culture is intentional and takes effort and focus; it does not happen by accident. There are several measures an organization may take to support the workforce to move toward a digital culture. Below are five such measures.
  1. Understand your workforce. Understanding the digital knowledge and skills of the workforce will highlight skill and knowledge gaps, feeding into training and communication programs supporting staff through the transition process and beyond.
  2. Time. Employees need time to adjust to change and adopt new technology. By not rushing into implementation, employees will have time to get used to digitalization, learn to experiment and build on their successes.
  3. Communication. One of the main ways to address the fear and anxiety which comes with change, is communication. Clear, open and visible communications can demystify the digital transformation journey. Using a variety of methods of communication can reassure and engage your workforce.
  4. Engagement. Each employee needs to understand where they fit into the digitalization process. Bringing consumer-like experiences into the workplace may shorten transition periods and increase acceptance of using digital tools and smart machines. For people to change their habits they need to appreciate the added value, such as making their tasks easier.
  5. Leadership and vision. While the leadership team needs to drive cultural change, they also need to engage employees and encourage creativity, similar to what is often experienced in a startup. Feeling comfortable to take risks and try new things starts with leaders modelling such behavior, trusting their employees and encouraging collaboration, and treating any failures as learning experiences. The more that leadership teams focus on digital transformation, the more the workforce becomes used to it.

In my next article, I will take on leadership and vision in more detail.

Enjoy the journey

Through engagement, collaboration, and communication, digital culture can be an evolution rather than a revolution. Once you have a digital culture, employees will lead the way and become motivated and engaged to use the new tools and processes, which will inevitably result in others following. Digital transformation is, at its heart, an exercise in the development of people, nurturing a culture for digital change while developing a workforce with a growth mindset.

Part 1: What's your Digital Vision?
Part 2: DX: The Impact on Roles and Training
Part 4: Transforming the C-suite

Have you already started on your digital transformation journey or have questions you’d like to share? We would love to hear from you. Use the comments section below to share your thoughts and questions.

Martin de Martini
Martin de Martini goes by Woodu at Y Soft. He ensures our internal processes make sense across our global offices. In addition, as an innovator and visionary at heart, he sees integration of new and game-changing solutions into established global processes as big fun and a challenge to face. And to broaden his perspective, he also travels to customer sites around the world bringing back the voices of customers to the teams in Prague and Brno.
View all posts by Martin de Martini

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